YOU don’t have to have Higher maths – and I don’t – to work out that even if every Westminster seat was won by a nationalist, their influence would be minimal. The Commons arithmetic ensures they can be outvoted on everything and anything.

You don’t have to be a member of the SNP – and I’m not – to see just how little the nationalist cohort matters to the rest of the House. Stephen Flynn said his troops had been treated with utter contempt. Was he surprised? Was anyone?

We know – and Sir Keir Starmer ­certainly knows – that opposition debate days for third parties are like hen’s teeth. We knew – and he did too – that if the Speaker accepted a Labour amendment and it passed, the SNP motion would be dead in the water.

Speaking of which, the amendment had all the coherence of an essay written by a ­committee, as that’s essentially what it was. Strangled by its own sub-clauses. Crushed to death by its caveats.

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They say that you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but this ­amendment was trying to prove you could by cosying up to every possible ­faction and combatant.

All to prevent the truly awful prospect, in Labour’s eyes, of having some of their troops actually agreeing with, and voting for, a motion laid down by the hated SNP. We see you, Labour. Come out from behind the Speaker’s cloak right now.

But enough of last week. Let’s look to the future. Let’s ask ourselves this: If the ­allegedly independence-supporting troops have been made to look utterly irrelevant – and they surely have – what, precisely, is the point of them?

“They are there to give a voice to Scotland at Westminster,” comes the plaintive cry. Oh yeah? It didn’t take the recent shenanigans to demonstrate just how impotent that voice is.

“They are there to represent ALL their ­constituents, not just the ones who ­voted SNP,” arrives another alibi. True. But that’s one of the many flaws we should lay at the feet of the first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting ­system, still supported and clung to by many ­Labour folk who would have ­benefitted from a switch to proportional representation (PR).

The National: Sir Lindsay Hoyle

Plus it’s apparently more acceptable to have a Tory representing a Labour voter, or a Unionist representing a ­pro-independence one. Remind me why that’s a sound idea?

Now, as it happens, I’m no great fan of the version of PR adopted by ­Holyrood – not least because it still lets party ­hierarchies decide who sits where on their regional top-up list. It still results in parties choosing another MSP when one resigns.

That’s too much power in too few hands for my liking. We’ve just inherited a shiny new Conservative MSP when the previous holder of the seat scurried off to the Lords.

There is no perfect system, but the ­single transferable vote used by ­local ­councils in Scotland at least more ­accurately ­represents what the voters want since the latter are able to rank the candidates themselves. It inevitably ­results in multi-member representation but is that really worse than FPTP?

Frankly, there have been many times when I’ve been glad to have a choice of ­local ­councillors on my patch. It doesn’t stop tribalism in its tracks – and there are still too many Tories masquerading as ­“Independents” – but on balance, it gives the poor bloody voting infantry more ­options.

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It’s no secret that many of the ­current SNP MPs were as surprised as their ­erstwhile opponents to find their ­bahookies resting on the green benches. Some of the intakes in the SNP’s big bang moment had been languishing in fourth place in previous polls.

Some of them have made no secret of their wish to land up in Holyrood in the fullness of time. Others have gone more than a bit native. Pete Wishart – no ­relation – now says it was a bit of a wind-up when he said he would stand as Speaker of the House in 2019.

Yet that “wind-up” came with a detailed manifesto attached.

Ian Blackford – former leader of the Commons tartan brigade – once said he thought there should be more respect given to the Commons and its traditions. Really?

Mr B more recently was heard to muse that it’s long past time the SNP reviewed their hostility to sending representatives to the Lords. This was rather widely viewed as a pre-emptive application for a peerage.

Conversely, when Joanna Cherry (below) ­suggested she would like to transfer to an adjoining constituency as a Holyrood MSP, the goalposts were swiftly moved. Not unless you can raise £10k towards by-election expenses, she was advised. Not unless you resign as an MP first.

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Now I’m well aware that Ms Cherry is not everyone’s favourite cuppa. And that she and the former FM were barely on speaking terms. Yet I doubt that her party are so blessed with talent that they can afford to diss a KC who was instrumental in stopping Boris from shutting down parliament in case it disagreed with him.

Politics, by its very nature, sometimes makes for strange bedfellows, but it you’re looking for a party where ­everyone thinks the same, then you’re in the wrong movie.

I noted a Tommy Shephard social ­media post about a fundraiser which would also feature Kate Forbes.

“I’ll give no money to the SNP so long as that bigot remains in its ranks,” ­thundered one Facebook respondent.

As it happens, I can’t think of a single social issue on which Ms Forbes and I are likely to agree, but we both go into bat for independence which, perhaps naively, I thought was the whole point of the Yes movement. Each to their own and all that.

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I’m no longer sure, however, that the pursuit of independence is at the ­forefront of some minds in the Commons’s SNP ranks.

There are those who stand up ­regularly for that cause and for social justice ­generally. And there are those you might just have forgotten were there at all.

They know who they are. And so do their ­colleagues.

It's not a problem peculiar to the SNP of course. Anas Sarwar is currently casting about for oven-ready candidates to stand in what he hopes will be winnable seats. The kind of candidate with sufficient experience to be instantly rewarded with a high-profile role in his team. It speaks volumes about the bulk of the folk sitting behind him.

Then we have the benighted Prime Minister, so enamoured of his many Tory troops, that he howks a former PM out of retirement to be his latest Foreign ­Secretary. I’m sure Dave Cameron would have been just thrilled to oblige without the attached daud of ermine. Just as I’m sure Livingston will win the Scottish ­Premiership this season.

The National: SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford

Incidentally, Dominic Raab – who WOULD have been our PM had the ­blessed Boris fallen off his perch – has just secured a £118,00pa gig with a ­private ­equity company who some might allege is the last refuge of so many parliamentary scoundrels. He also picked up – we hear – some 20 grand worth of free ­transition ­advice from a consultancy. Don’t think they do anger management courses.

It is, in truth, an ill-divided world, and not just because the man currently ­heading up the UK Cabinet is wealthier than the actual King. While the mother of parliaments is behaving like a role ­model for unruly two-year-olds, more and more ­hapless and helpless Palestinians ­are crowded in what has been dubbed the world’s ­largest refugee camp.

It is to be hoped that these profoundly unhappy campers were unable to view the elected chamber as it failed to go about its business. And, more pertinently, failed the very people it allegedly sought to protect from further bombardment and needless death.